It has been the most visible face in the defense of immigration policy in the US, which until Wednesday included the separation of children from their families when they arrived at the illegal border. They do not recognize a relevant resume, but they unanimously praise their dedication and ability to work. In the current Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, above all, loyalty to Trump stands out.
he US Department of Homeland Security’s Secretary of State, Kirstjen Nielsen, had recently joined the Trump Administration (entered January 2017) when she contracted a severe flu. From so much coughing, the then chief of staff of his predecessor – General John Kelly – broke a rib. But even that did not slow her down or reduce her ability to work. Instead of presenting a medical discharge, Nielsen bandaged his torso to be able to withstand the pain, and continued to report to the service, recalls the “Politico.”
The attitude did not only impress his more direct superior. Even among those who would later confess to stupefaction when she was appointed Secretary of Homeland Security – eleven months later – there was no voice that dared to question her dedication.
That is their greatest merit, critics insist, pointing their fingers at the lean curriculum, but this dedication is also considered their most dangerous quality. Several representatives of the department that Nielsen now directs describe her as someone more motivated by “opportunism” than at the service of an “ideology” determined to “please” and committed to compensate for inexperience by letting herself be guided. In short, Kirstjen Nielsen seems poised to be a mere pawn in the White House, the sources quoted by The New Yorker magazine conclude.
That is why, despite the rawness with which it has defended the so controversial “zero tolerance”, the North American immigration policy that shocks the world and has allowed to separate the children of the parents who cross the borders of the United States like illegal migrants, there are who does not accuse her alone. They see in their inflexibility the unwavering defense of the guidelines of their former ‘boss’, John Kelly, and Stephen Miller, senior adviser to the White House and considered the true architect of the idea.
STOIC ABOUT THE ACCUSATIONS AND CRITICISMS
“We are just complying with the law,” he assured the conference room pulpit when confronted with journalists’ question about whether it was a question of a form of abuse against children. A “robotic” rendering, as Arick Wierson, a television producer and former university colleague of Kirstjen Nielsen, who repeated himself on Tuesday night, stoically resisted and with no visible emotion the protest that aimed at him when he dined in a Mexican restaurant and was surrounded by protesters shouting “shame, shame”.
The Secretary of Homeland Security has given the body the bullets. And he insists on “defending the indefensible,” wrote the former colleague, who pointed to the exit door as the only solution: “The only good option is to resign.”
It does not seem likely. De Nielsen, 46, is expected to have absolute loyalty to Donald Trump, as he pointed out on Wednesday, staying with the US President as he announced that he had signed an executive order that prevented children from being separated from family members . After Trump gave him the floor, Nielson made a point of ending with a very reverent “thank you Mr. President for your leadership.”
In her profile (including her physical posture), the tendency to act in accordance with the military discipline she imposes on others also stands out – which earned her a reputation as a “Ratched Nurse,” alluding to the authoritarianism of the character of “Flying Over a Nest of cuckoos “- but which also seems to be able to apply to itself.
Little is known about his personal life, whose most relevant facts only came to the public after the nomination had placed him under scrutiny. The daughter of two Army doctors, she was born in Colorado and grew up in Florida, being the oldest of three siblings. Her parents divorced when she was a law student and lost her mother in 2011. Her father, an ophthalmologist, opened his own practice in Tampa after failing to serve in the military establishment.
Single, no children, no known current relationship. The name denounces part of its foreign ancestry: Danish on the father’s side, Italian on the mother’s rib. The only exception to the discreet manner in which he managed his privacy was perhaps the family’s presence at his inauguration, which was attended by his father, one of his brothers, his uncles and a cousin.
APPROACHING THE RIGHT PEOPLE
The career path includes a passage by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) during the George W. Bush Administration (2001-2009). She has a law degree from the University of Virginia and a public service from Georgetown, Kirstjen Nielsen created in the past decade her own risk management consultant and was a consultant at a cybersecurity center, and the paper did not support her as a specialist .
The rise was more due to the fact that one has known how to approach the right people, the critics insist, with some who oppose them saying that competence in certain functions entails not winning sympathies.
“Solid, firm, competent,” their defenders guarantee. Is that what you showed in refusing to apologize for the separation of children during a speech at the National Sheriff’s Association in New Orleans? Or was it a sign of authoritarianism, more like “Ratched Nurse”?
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